Warzone? Refugee camp? The dark alley you walk down on your way home? According to the UN, home is the most dangerous place to be a womanby Sian Norris / November 27, 2018 / Leave a comment
A UN study published to mark the International Day To End Violence Against Women has revealed that home may be the most dangerous place to be a woman. The study found that, while most victims of intended homicide are men, the vast majority (82 pre cent) of victims of intimate partner homicide are women. Six women are killed by a person known to them every hour—or 137 women a day.
Here in the UK, the Counting Dead Women project keeps a tally of women and girls killed by men (or where a man is the primary suspect). On Sunday, the Twitter account listed every woman and girl killed since 25 November 2017: a total of 146 women, or one woman killed every 2.5 days. The vast majority were killed by an intimate partner or near relative—the number of women killed by their sons is especially notable.
For feminists campaigning on male violence against women and girls, a report revealing the dangers of home comes as little surprise. Whether fatal or not, research across the board has shown that women are more likely to be physically or sexually assaulted by men known to her.
It’s believed around 90 per cent of rape survivors know the perpetrator before the assault, and an average of two women in England and Wales are killed every week by a current or former partner.
However, the statistics will have come as a shock to some—in part because of the ways we talk about and minimise male violence against women and girls. Male violence is still seen as the isolated incident; the stranger in the dark alleyway. While this, of course, does happen, the day-to-day nature of domestic abuse that all too often leads to a woman’s death remains hidden. We still hear police investigations refer to a man killing or threatening his wife as a “domestic incident” or an “isolated incident”—even if the murder is a result of months or years of beatings, control and intimidation.
That the majority of this abuse happens behind closed doors makes it easier to minimise or excuse the violence of men who kill women. Earlier this year, a former-UKIP counsellor who killed his wife was described…